Singapore: Central Bank warns crypto exchanges and stops ICO

The Singapore Central Bank and Financial Supervisory Authority (MAS) announced on 24 May that it had warned eight crypto exchanges of the lack of licensing. In addition, it stopped an ICO and demanded the repayment of all investments from Singapore. Will the island state now start cryptoregulation after all?

Although Singapore has so far distanced itself from cryptoregulation and limited itself instead to anti-money laundering controls, crypto exchanges cannot operate in the island state as they please. Here the financial supervisory authority must issue a licence for securities trading before crypto exchanges can become active.

Previously unknown crypto exchanges warned about the Bitcoin secret

Non-licensed crypto exchanges are in constant danger of being warned by the state financial supervisory authorities about the Bitcoin secret as in this review. Once a warning has been issued to the exchange itself, its publication can follow quickly. As BTC-ECHO recently reported, the French and Belgian authorities had published blacklists of Bitcoin secret websites they wanted to warn users about. It is not difficult to guess what impact these announcements may have on the number of users. In addition, if the cautioned companies fail to act, there is of course a danger that the authorities will ban them.

The Singaporean MAS has not yet announced the names of the eight cautioned crypto exchanges. Nor is there any information on whether suspicious activities such as those in France had occurred on the platforms or complaints about the Exchanges such as those received in Belgium. The MAS stressed, however, with reference to the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), a law that provides for the regulation of activities and institutions in the securities, futures and derivatives industry:

“If the digital tokens are securities or futures contracts, exchanges must immediately stop trading these digital tokens until they have been authorised by the MAS as approved exchanges or recognised market operators.

Cryptosoft must be discontinued in Singapore

In addition, MAS asked an ICO issuer to stop its offer in Singapore. His token would represent the ownership right of a cryptosoft company and thus a security token according to the SFA. This, in turn, requires registration with the MAS, which is missing in this case. For this reason, the MAS demanded repayment of all cryptosoft investments from Singapore. According to MAS, the issuer has already complied with this demand:

“The [ICO] Issuer has suspended the Offer and taken remedial action to comply with the provisions of the MAS. It has also repaid all monies received from Singapore based investors.”

However, there is no precise information on the ICO and the amount issued. Lee Boon Ngiap, Assistant Managing Director of MAS, nevertheless does not want to give the impression that Singapore is introducing strict regulatory measures regarding crypto exchanges and ICOs. Instead, he announced that crypto offerings in Singapore had increased significantly. According to Finews.Asia, he stressed this:

“We see no need to restrict them when they are honest companies. However, if a crypto exchange, issuer or intermediary violates our securities laws, the MAS will take strict measures.